The goal of this project is to design, develop and implement the use of ion-selective, synthetic channel-forming peptides. A primary application for such technology will be the treatment of loss-of-function ion channel diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Epithelial monolayer's act as barriers to the movement of small solute molecules, including both inorganic ions and drugs, between body compartments. Ions cross epithelial apical and basolateral membranes via combination of tightly regulated ion-specific transporters and channels;limited diffusion across tight junctions can occur. Loss-of-function of any channel leads to electrolyte and fluid imbalances that result in morbidity and mortality. For many years, this laboratory has been developing synthetic peptides that form pores with varying degrees of anion conduction and selectivity. These synthetic peptide sequences are distantly related to the pore-forming transmembrane segment (M2) of the spinal cord glycine receptor (GlyR) a1-subunit. We hypothesized that the ideal channel-forming sequence should:1) have high aqueous solubility as a monomer;2)have no detectable antigenicity;3) bind to and then partition rapidly into biological membranes at low solution concentrations;4) undergo supramolecular assembly in the membrane to form pores with high ion throughput;and 5) show physiologically relevant anion selectivity. All of these properties have been achieved with the exception of the final goal, anion selectivity. We are now exploring distinct approaches to raise the permselectivity for Cl- (PCl) relative to either Na+ or K+. Cells treated with our de novopores tolerate them well with the net anion flux controlled by the natural regulation of counter-ion transport. In the Aims we propose to modulate pore-exposed and peptide-peptide interfacial residues that dictate the pore environment, channel geometry, and channel size to generate a series of pores that define a range of perm selectivity's for Cl- relative to monovalentcations, with retention of high anion permeation rates. Specific amino acid replacements will be introduced to modulate pore lining residues with regard to hydrogen bonding capabilities or electrostatic properties. Other replacements will alterpore length and rigidity. The effects of these modifications will be monitored by a combination of electrophysiological and structural (CD &NMR) studies in conjunction with computer modeling.

Public Health Relevance

The bio-based peptide materials described in this proposal are derived from the same biological source and undergo self assemble in both membranes and living cells to form channel pores that display unique biological properties. Producing new peptides with high anion selectivity would have translational promise in the area of channel- replacement therapy for channelopathies such as cystic fibrosis.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section (BMBI)
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Chin, Jean
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Kansas State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Barros, Sheila M; Whitaker, Susan K; Sukthankar, Pinakin et al. (2016) A review of solute encapsulating nanoparticles used as delivery systems with emphasis on branched amphipathic peptide capsules. Arch Biochem Biophys 596:22-42
Avila, L Adriana; Aps, Luana R M M; Sukthankar, Pinakin et al. (2015) Branched amphiphilic cationic oligopeptides form peptiplexes with DNA: a study of their biophysical properties and transfection efficiency. Mol Pharm 12:706-15
Sukthankar, Pinakin; Whitaker, Susan K; Garcia, Macy et al. (2015) Thermally induced conformational transitions in nascent branched amphiphilic peptide capsules. Langmuir 31:2946-55
Chen, Jianhan; Tomich, John M (2014) Free energy analysis of conductivity and charge selectivity of M2GlyR-derived synthetic channels. Biochim Biophys Acta 1838:2319-25
Sukthankar, Pinakin; Avila, L Adriana; Whitaker, Susan K et al. (2014) Branched amphiphilic peptide capsules: cellular uptake and retention of encapsulated solutes. Biochim Biophys Acta 1838:2296-305
Bukovnik, Urska; Sala-Rabanal, Monica; Francis, Simonne et al. (2013) Effect of diaminopropionic acid (Dap) on the biophysical properties of a modified synthetic channel-forming peptide. Mol Pharm 10:3959-66
Sukthankar, Pinakin; Gudlur, Sushanth; Avila, L Adriana et al. (2013) Branched oligopeptides form nanocapsules with lipid vesicle characteristics. Langmuir 29:14648-54
Gao, Jian; Chen, Jianhan (2013) Effects of flanking loops on membrane insertion of transmembrane helices: a role for peptide conformational equilibrium. J Phys Chem B 117:8330-9
Bukovnik, U; Gao, J; Cook, G A et al. (2012) Structural and biophysical properties of a synthetic channel-forming peptide: designing a clinically relevant anion selective pore. Biochim Biophys Acta 1818:1039-48
Zhang, Yuntao; Sukthankar, Pinakin; Tomich, John M et al. (2012) Effect of the synthetic NC-1059 peptide on diffusion of riboflavin across an intact corneal epithelium. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:2620-9

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